Issues I realized in 2020
2020, the year that felt like a decade is drawing to a close. As I sat down to ponder everything that happened, I couldn’t help but feel a bit overwhelmed by all the emotions.
I work very hard to stay positive and optimistic and despite all the challenges that come with that, this year was no different. My wife likes to say it’s part of my nature or my God-given gift, but I also believe it was a conscious choice.
The fact is, I have been extremely blessed and enjoyed privileges that not everyone has. I fully realize that. I also had to scratch, be frantic, and make sacrifices to get where I am. But whatever the circumstances, I like to focus on being grateful for my life and the people I have in it.
This time of reflection made me realize that I have learned a lot this year. Now I don’t keep a diary. Instead, this blog has become a kind of “diary” for me. I am fortunate to have had contact with many readers from all over the world and I have found that many of us share similar experiences.
And so in today’s post I decided to write down the most important points I learned this year. It may be little more than an electrical outlet for me, but if it helps someone else out there, so much the better!
Humility is important
So many times in my life I’ve thought, “I’m ready.” I’d get to a point and just know that I’d figured it all out. Maybe I got into school, got a job, or got access to a certain strategy or connection and now nothing could touch me.
Well, after being pushed back a certain number of times a time or two – whether it wasn’t the first time it fitted into the residence or a surprising change in work schedule – I realized the importance of understanding humility.
I’ve also had investments that didn’t go perfectly. Or nowhere near perfect – now that I think about it. Sometimes problems came up unexpectedly, like a fire or an environmental problem, that forced me to change strategies.
Humility is crucial in dealing with all of the unexpected in life. As I have learned and grown over the past few years, I have found that intellectual humility is extremely important. This is the ability to know that I don’t know what I don’t know. It sounds easy, but it isn’t.
When I realized there are things I don’t know, it was a lot easier to let go of my pride and ask for help. This has led me to strong, supportive relationships with friends and mentors, and they have been invaluable in helping me achieve my goals.
The thought that took root in me as I discovered more things I didn’t know was simple: I have to keep learning. By continuing to search for knowledge, I was able to broaden and broaden my horizons. For me, learning is the best way to develop yourself.
How many of you have read or learned something lately and found, “Wow, there’s so much out there that I don’t know.” If you haven’t felt this in a while (maybe since your stay?), It probably means you can still grow.
My suggestion is simple: listen to a podcast on a topic you’ve always wanted to learn about or that piques your interest. Better still, take part in an online course platform like Masterclass, where you can learn from experts in all fields. Choose a course that covers something you’ve never thought of before.
Our Leverage & Growth Summit was full of doctors doing a ton of different things outside of medicine – blogs, podcasts, coaching, real estate, experts, books, ketamine clinics … the list goes on. Explore what’s out there, see what others are doing, and never stop learning.
Protect your mindset
One of the greatest contributions to my personal and financial success is the coaching that I have received in my entire life. People ask me about it all the time and are often surprised to learn that I am paying for coaching in different areas.
I am paying for a coach to help me in business and in life. I’ve hired another coach to help me manage productivity and time. I’ve hired one more to help me with marketing. You name it, there is a trainer for it.
But why a trainer at all?
I looked around and found that success leaves clues. The people at the top of their game have coaches, plain and simple. Fortune 500 executives have business coaches. The best athletes in the world have coaches – Steph Curry works with a shooting coach, Tiger Woods has a golf coach. You have the idea.
Trainers provide instruction, encouragement, motivation, and may have the advantage of an outside perspective.
After all, it is very difficult to make observations from a subjective point of view, and sometimes it is easier to see things from the outside.
In fact, through coaching, I am constantly finding out how to limit myself in all areas of my life. I have hundreds of reasons why I can’t do or achieve something, but ultimately I now realize that it’s just a fear of not speaking.
I have found that when I can put that aside and focus on the results I want and the simple steps required to achieve them, things suddenly go from impossible to possible.
Okay, so this isn’t exactly new. I have incorporated diversification into my life for many years. But this year it really cemented me more than ever. 2020 got everyone on a loop – and that’s easy to say. At some point every single person was affected in some way, whether it was a relationship, a job, or finance.
I’ve seen coworkers worry about their financial security. I’ve seen friends on social media talking about their struggles. Many doctors’ incomes, including mine, have been cut dramatically for all the uncertainty.
But while income changed, the basic cost of living didn’t – mortgage, food, water, basic collateral.
In the past few years I have often thought, “What if my medical income stream was completely cut off? Would I be in good shape? “But this year has made that hypothetical question a surprising reality.
It was like a mini stress test! And frankly, I hope you saw it that way too. Of course, I hope everyone who reads this is doing well financially. But if 2020 opened your eyes to the weakness of the income of our day jobs, I think that is a very good thing. Diversification was never more important until 2021.
Flow like water
At some point during the year I was a little bit emotionally depressed. You can probably relate. I decided I had to change my routine to break out of my rut. I woke up an hour earlier and it felt like that scene in Forrest Gump where he said: “On that day I decided to do a little run for no particular reason.”
I’ve never really enjoyed running, but I needed a change. And so I ran every day. I lost weight, my energy improved, my thoughts became clearer, and my optimism returned. As a direct result of these newfound benefits, I created the Leverage & Growth Summit. Running worked out very well for me.
Then, in September, I injured my foot. I couldn’t stand the heavy pounding of running any longer. A little discouraged, I sat for a month not sure where to go next. Then, on a whim, I decided to try yoga for the first time. I threw down a mat and fought my way through a few dozen poses.
I was hooked. Now it’s an integral part of my routine and my life in general, and after spending a few sessions with my wife, it has become a great bonding experience for us.
The point of it all? I’ve found firsthand that as you take care of your body, your mind will follow. If you’re feeling stuck, discouraged, or just need a small change, try a new form of exercise. Its worth it.
Focus on what is important
With all the uncertainty and fear that went around this year, I was never more aware of what was really important in life: relationships with loved ones.
This season has obviously put those relationships to the test at times, and unfortunately, you don’t always realize how important something is until it’s challenged in some way.
Fortunately, I don’t think this difficult time will last forever. I don’t know about you, but I have a huge list of things that I have postponed until 2021 and I fully intend to do them.
When it is safe, I aim to implement these travel plans, gain life experiences, and spend time with friends and family. When it is in my control it will physically happen as soon as possible.
Whatever 2021 brings, I’ll make sure I don’t lose sight of what’s important to me. Even if life returns to normal, these relationships are no less important. In a way, I’m grateful that this year I was really forced to realize how important they are.
Many people claim that they experience the greatest growth during difficult times. It’s like a muscle; We need to be challenged and dismantled so that we can become stronger. I hope 2020 was such a year for you. I hope it’s been a year for me.
Now my focus is on moving forward in 2021. I will find out how I can use the things I have learned to become better for my family and my community.
If that’s your goal too, then let’s make it happen! Join me as we leave this year behind, take what we’ve learned and make 2021 the best it can be.